Identity: Cry Sies.
The almost familiar country of Sarfricar is about to get a New President, and he’s a Manchester United Supporter! Run for the hills!
A satire of South African politics
Dr. Wilson Diba was in his sixties when finally released from prison.
Arrested at the age of twenty-three for riding a bicycle without any lights, his initial sentence should have only been five years hard labour. The pro-government press felt this was quite fair as the crime happened during daylight hours. It would have been ten years had it been dark.
As Sweatow was usually shrouded in smoke from the innumerable coal fires that burned constantly the term ‘daylight hours’ was a moot point.
Wilson was busy studying to be a lawyer. Of course, this was impossible for a Blick person in Sarfrica, as they could not practice law, by law.
‘An’ if theys carnt practice, theys carnt get better, hey!’ remarked the Minister of Law and Order, Mr. Vas ‘die voet’ Flock.
To avoid any form of suspicion Wilson usually wrote “second-hand shoe salesman” on any government form that required him to reveal his profession. It had to be second hand because the assumption was that any Blick found in possession of anything new had to have stolen it. It also helped that he never had any stock in trade about his person.
Wilson attended university at Fort Hair and would cycle the 72 kilometres to ‘varsity’ every morning.
The morning of his arrest Wilson was about to crest the top of a steep incline. He emerged from the perpetual smog bank in Sweatow and immediately went through a speed trap.
Within twenty minutes, he arrived, handcuffed, and blindfolded at Joan Foster’s Happy Circle Police Station.
The following morning he was due to appear in court.
Having a good idea how these things worked, and being a “smart Blick”, Wilson thought it best to confess to his crime and hope that he would get away with a fine.
However, when he addressed the desk sergeant, a charge of aggravated assault was added immediately. Misunderstanding the officer, Wilson politely asked, in perfect Inglish, ‘Excuse me?’
The sergeant, convinced that one of the station’s Alsatian dogs had spoken to him, ran screaming from the charge office.
After eight hours at Joan Foster’s Happy Circle Police Station Wilson was finally able to convince someone that he was prepared to make a full confession.
However, somewhere along the line, his court appointed attorney, who did not acknowledge a word of Inglish, incorrectly translated Wilson’s written confession from, ‘ Riding a bicycle without lights in a non built up area,’ to ‘Knowingly and willingly trying to blow up the Parliament buildings.’
The five-years went out of the proverbial window and Wilson received a life sentence.
Wilson had an interesting time whilst incarcerated, although it was not all spent inside. He spent the first five years of his sentence outdoors digging the route for the M2 West highway.
A cursory enquiry soon revealed that the charges were erroneous and relatives began a campaign to secure Wilson’s release. The original charge of ‘Riding a bicycle without lights’ was also found to be without substance as Wilson had had a set of bicycle lights in a canvass bag he was carrying; the batteries were nearly flat and he had intended to buy new ones in Joeberg.
Wilson Diba became an icon symbolising the inhumanity of Sarfrican law and the desperate need to supply Blicks with dynamo driven lights for their bicycles.
The person responsible for initiating the worldwide awareness campaign for Wilson’s release was his mother, Mrs. Beauty ‘Ma’ Diba.
She first approached the You Knighted States.
As they had recently enacted their own Civil Rights Bill and had lots of money, she believed this would be a good start.
She was thrilled when she received a letter from the President of the YKS, Richard Nicksome.
I am sending you a crate of Automatic Rifles. We call them the Peace Maker. When Wilson gets out the joint give me a call.
And, he was.
As the years went by Wilson’s fame spread far and wide. People around the world added their voice to the call for his release.
Universities all over the place bestowed upon him honorary degrees and doctorates.
One such being from the University of Pleese Yorself in Finland that awarded him an honoury degree in entomology, convinced, as they were, that after so long in prison he must have an intimate knowledge of most forms of creepy-crawly. The Dean having seen the film Papillon, no doubt
Then it happened. On a glorious Monday morning Wilson Diba walked out of Joan Foster’s Happy Circle Prison a free men.
The guards had all clubbed together to buy him a going away present and in an emotional farewell they presented him with a tube of Dark and Lovely hair dye and two new batteries for his bicycle lights. The prison warden had even approved the purchase of two slightly used bicycle tyres out of petty cash. Wilson had never ridden a bicycle with tyres and he did not mind signing the petty cash chitty one bit.
Wilson’s personal guard, who had brought him a cup of tea in the same tin mug with a hole in the bottom for thirty-three years, even on his last morning, was weeping inconsolably.
‘I loves that bleddy Ca…Blick, I really does.’
Wilson stepped out of prison pushing his bicycle to a tumultuous welcome from seven family members and one reporter from the Stark newspaper.
Prior to being sentenced to prison, Wilson had belonged to a Sweatow jazz band called the All Night Clubbers. After he was locked up the rest of the band members gigged ceaselessly for over thirty years to raise funds to launch a political campaign to get Wilson elected as the first Demographic Blick President.
To attract attention to their cause they blew up Muckdonalds’ fast food outlets across the country. No-one died because of the explosions, but apparently, by preventing people from eating at these places many lives were saved.
The All Night Clubbers received the Noble Piece Prize for “Services to Humanity”.
Wilson became Sarfrica’s first Blick President at a glittering inauguration ceremony at Jean Foster’s Happy Circle Prison.
Wilson chose the venue for nostalgic reasons and an array of world leaders, attended, including a bemused President George Brush senior from the Y.K.S.
Asked for his feelings about witnessing such an historic event he replied,
‘Y’know I never realised that he was Blick. Is that legal over here?’
Ten years later Sarfrica was beginning to realise its potential as a true powerhouse on the world stage. Foreign investment began to flood the country and major inroads were made towards the alleviation of poverty.
The country was strong and getting stronger.
So famous had the country become that millions of well-wishers from north of the country’s borders came to congratulate the Sarfricans; most of them stayed.
Twenty years on Sarfrica was almost back to square one. Almost. They still had Demography.
Copyright© Douglas Pearce